The Japanese Communist Party held its 25th Congress on January 13-16 in Atami City in Shizuoka Prefecture with about 1,000 delegates and observers participating. Foreign ambassadors and diplomats from 19 embassies in Japan attended the first-day session. JCP Executive Committee Chair Shii Kazuo gave the following opening speech:
Delegates and observers,
Good afternoon to you and everyone watching via communication satellite broadcast and on the Internet!
I now declare the JCP 25th Congress open. On behalf of the Central Committee, I express my deepest gratitude to everyone who has worked hard preparing for this Congress.
We have invited foreign diplomats to sit in on this Congress. Ambassadors or diplomats of the following 19 countries are present here today: Iran, Ukraine, Ghana, Kazakhstan, Cuba, Kenya, Saudi Arabia, China, Tunisia, Nepal, Pakistan, East Timor, Bulgaria, Vietnam, South Africa, Morocco, Laos, Luxembourg, and Russia. Thank you very much for coming all the way from Tokyo to observe our Congress.
In addition to our visits abroad, meeting foreign diplomats here in Japan and getting to know about their governments is also an important part of our diplomatic activities. We, the government of each country and the JCP, have shared interests as well as differences. However, it is wonderful that you are here to observe our Congress and I hope that you come to know that our party is playing a part in Japanese politics, and I sincerely hope that mutual understanding and friendship will deepen.
It was in January 2006 when we last held a Congress. In the four years since then, 16,347 members, including former Central Committee Chair Miyamoto Kenji, former Executive Committee Chair Murakami Hiromu, former Vice Chair Ueda Koichi, and 11 honorary executives, have passed away. Striving to create a new Japan, fighting to defend people’s rights, and working to achieve peace and social progress in Japan and the world, each of them dedicated their lives as JCP members.
Please join us in a minute of silence to pay respect to them in the name of the 25th Congress. Please stand.
Thank you. Please be seated.
This 25th Congress has an important mission as the Congress held in the first year of this decade.
First, we must introduce the draft Resolution and adopt it as our basic policy to deal with various issues in Japan and abroad. Recently, the Liberal Democratic Party lost its long-standing ruling party position as a result of the people’s verdict in the last election. This is a positive change. The draft Resolution analyzes the nature of the new situation and defines JCP tasks.
I want to emphasize that analyses and proposals in the draft Resolution are based on the JCP Program adopted in the 23rd Congress six years ago. Since then, the turbulent situation in Japan has proven that our party Program has universal relevance and vigor. Under this situation of transition, only from the Program perspective can we accurately understand ongoing events and not lose sight of the course we must take. This is what I strongly felt during my work to formulate and discuss the “draft Resolution” with the entire party involved.
If the Congress succeeds in further refining the draft Resolution and adopting it as our political goal for the next ten year period, we will certainly be able to make a significant contribution to progressive social change.
The second task is for us to make this Congress a springboard for all the members of the party to work together to achieve a JCP advance in the House of Councilors election that will be held in six months.
Last year, a significant positive change took place in Japanese politics. Whether we can further move it forward or not depends on a JCP advance in the upcoming House of Councilors election. For a JCP victory in the election, we will step up our campaign in parallel with efforts to win in nationwide local elections, which will take place in 15 months.
The draft Resolution gives impetus to the energy and determination of the whole party to make a great leap forward in the Upper House election. We will work hard to win!
So far, we have decided to put up 5 proportional representation candidates, and other JCP candidates for 46 prefectural districts, except Okinawa, in the Upper House election. All of them are present in this Congress and I will introduce them tomorrow.
Let’s have this Congress open the way for victories in the House of Councilors election and in nationwide local elections! To make it go down in JCP history as a major advance, let’s work hard!
Thirdly, we will elect a new JCP Central Committee that will play a leading role in implementing the party Program and the Congress Resolution.
The draft Resolution states, “We will implement a policy for creating future leaders by reviewing the composition of the Central Committee. We will make special efforts to promote the development of alternate Central Committee members as successors to the present leadership members. To this end, we will encourage party bodies to select many new promising members, including young people and women for leadership roles.”
From this standpoint, the present CC, fulfilling its own responsibility, will recommend candidates for new CC members to the Congress.
I hope the Congress will be a place for active discussions and fulfill its mission and produce a fruitful result for a great leap and advance of our work under the new political situation. Thank you.
- Akahata, January 14, 2010